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Horizontally propagating three-dimensional chemo-hydrodynamic patterns in the chlorite-tetrathionate reaction

Chaos An Interdisciplinary Journal of Nonlinear Science
American Institute of Physics
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1063/1.4740464
  • Mathematics


manus-rev2.dvi Horizontally propagating three-dimensional chemo-hydrodynamic patterns in the chlorite-tetrathionate reaction E´va Po´pity-To´th,1 Dezso˝ Horva´th,1 and A´gota To´th1, a) Department of Physical Chemistry and Materials Science, University of Szeged, Aradi ve´rtanu´k tere 1., Szeged, H-6720, Hungary (Dated: 13 July 2012) Planar reaction fronts resulting from the coupling of exothermic autocatalytic re- actions and transport processes can be deformed by convection in the presence of gravity field. We have experimentally investigated how buoyancy affects the spa- tiotemporal pattern formation at various solution thicknesses in three-dimensional medium. In the chlorite–tetrathionate reaction a stable structure propagating hor- izontally with constant velocity and geometry develops when appropriately thick solutions are studied. Both the horizontal and the vertical projections of the result- ing three-dimensional structures are quantitatively characterized: the smooth leading edge of the front is independent of the solution thickness and the structured trailing edge ends in a center cusp with a constant angle. a)E-mail: [email protected] 1 A vertical planar reaction front in a fluid medium is always unstable hydrody- namically under gravity if the density of the reactant and the product mixture is different. The geometry of the front—defined as the thin zone where the autocatalytic reaction takes place—is distorted as the less dense fluid tends to advance on top of the other. The propagation of such a self-organized inter- face is investigated experimentally in a three-dimensional medium, where the density decrease results from the temperature rise caused by the exothermic reaction. Simultaneous monitoring from the top and the side reveals that the arising front has a smooth leading profile and a structured trailing edge ending in a cusp. The systematic variation of the thickness of the container indicates that for suffic

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